Oil near US$74 amid Trump tweets, forecast drop in USA stockpile

The White House has backed off a tweet from President Donald Trump indicating he had convinced the king of Saudi Arabia to produce an extra two million barrels of oil per day

Iran to allow private sector to export oil, beat US sanctions

Oil prices have edged higher in recent months, as the Trump administration has pushed allies to end all purchases of oil from Iran following the U.S. pulling out of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, with ongoing unrest in Venezuela, as well as with fighting in Libya over control of that country's oil infrastructure. The announcement was made following a cabinet meeting headed by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

President Donald Trump's sustained bid to disrupt Iran's petroleum exports could soon help to push oil prices above $90 a barrel, analysts told CNBC on Thursday.

Both leaders also discussed "efforts by the oil-producing countries to compensate for any potential shortage in supplies", SPA reported. "If anything, they are driving prices higher as the United States defends many of their members for very little $'s". An increase in any nation's output beyond limits that OPEC set in 2016 would breach the agreement, he said. The kingdom, its Gulf allies and Russian Federation indicated that they will lift production by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to offset losses from Venezuela and Iran, but not more.

Hook said the USA sanctions on Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on August 6 while sanctions targeting energy and banking will be reinforced November 4.

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The clash over OPEC policy and the resumption of US sanctions on Iran has been amplified this week as Trump continues to target the group which he blames for rising prices.

Oil briefly touched $75 a barrell on Tuesday before retreating following the news of the Saudi government decision. China, the world's biggest oil consumer, and India, the country with the fastest-growing appetite for energy, added their own complaints after prices rose.

"More oil in the market has to be bearish", Mills said.

US crude futures were also down 25 cents at $73.89, not far from Tuesday's 3-1/2-year high above $75.

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Immediately after the moot, the US Energy Secretary Rick Perry emphasised that the deal between global oil producers to boost crude output was not enough to relieve global oil markets that are stressed by supply constraints.

But the USA official, Brian Hook, also said that keeping prices stable in the absence of Iranian crude is also important. The two main importers of Iranian crude are China and India; both of whom import around 400,000 BPD now.

"Even if Saudi Arabia does provide much of the oil to replace any shortcomings from Iran or Libya or Venezuela, that has the market concerned that we will be hitting fairly low levels of spare capacity, " said Bart Melek, head of global commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto.

"Oil is already being offered on the bourse, about 60,000 barrels per day, but that has been only for exports of oil products", Jahangiri said.

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